Monday, November 25, 2013

My Thankful List Continues - 20-25

For those of you just catching up, I've been working on a list of things I'm grateful for to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday and to remind myself and my readers about what is truly important in the holiday season. The original Thankful List that grows through the month can be found here: My Thankful List
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This has been a task, making time to write down what I'm grateful for. And it shouldn't be. And that makes me feel bad. And that brings me to my next "grateful item".

20.  I am grateful that I expect so much from myself. The words, "good enough" have never passed from my lips, not in reference to school or work or parenting or cooking or being a good person or being a good community member. In the words of my yoga teacher, Hayley, "there's always somewhere to go". I live life this way - always looking for the next step, the next challenge, the way to do better. It keeps me humble and hungry and happy because I never just settle

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21. I am thankful for fringe benefits. My job and this blog result in free tickets to shows and tours, VIP invites to the openings of stores and restaurants, and lots of free sample clothing, skincare, gourmet food stuffs and spirits. And I get to WRITE about them. What's cooler is that my husband's job which has him traveling the nation results in TONS of hotel points (because Marriott Rewards is the BEST loyalty program ever) and so we stay and play for free, often. I have sipped cocktails with the crew of Hot Tuna with the marketing and film crews from National Geographic and Wicked Tuna, watched Cavalia from the VIP seats and eaten dinner with Chef Jose Duarte of Taranta and his family. I've toured Fenway Park as a guest of F.W. Webb, been invited to the openings of Opus in Salem and O in Cambridge and  John Varvatos's Boston boutique ribbon cutting, toured land and sea with Sweet Shots Secret Spots and seen every show that the North Shore Music Theater since it reopened five years ago. There is nothing more exciting than getting an invite to review an event or a restaurant, and checking in to a free platinum level hotel room to prep for a night of elbow rubbing. This is my favorite, favorite, favorite thing to do ever (PS here are links to a few articles on some of my fun review escapades here:
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Tap Dancing Drag Queens and Lessons on Love - La Cage Aux Folles at NSMT

Boats and Bevies and Film Crews Oh My!

I Hung Out with Chef Jose Duarte By Accident

A Bathroom Tale - My Fenway Family Tour By Way of Toilet

Touring With Violet - My FAM Tour with Sweet Shots Secret Spots

22. I am thankful for the four seasons. Living in New England, this could be a one day deal with icy winds in the predawn turning quickly into sunny lunch-hours spent unencumbered by a coat or mittens only to give way to autumn light and breezy evenings and possible snow flakes at dinnertime. I admit I prefer my seasons to take their time, stretching languidly across the calendar year, but the existence of change in the air, the experience of shifting light and blooming trees, of winter sunsets and fall colors keep me loving where I live and always anxious to get outside, with my camera.
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23. I am grateful for the smell of fresh baked bread. Living in the west end of Gloucester, surrounded by Italian neighbors and Italian bakers, my sense of place includes a heavy aromatic dose of semolina and scali bread in ovens throughout the neighborhood. Semolina and asiago with fresh tomato and basil is the most delicious meal ever, always, any time of the day. Simple, salty, nutty, chewy, sweet and acidic perfection.
24. I am grateful for my girlfriends. My gaggle of girls mean the world to me. Smart, strong,and successful they are my support system when Ryan is on the road, which is about 1/3 of the year. Whether we are sharing a potluck during the kids' basketball practice, a laugh over a drink, a work war story on a rough day or a kvetch sess over somebody's newest failed romance, I need and love these ladies and I am so thankful for the paths that led us all together. All from different parts of my life - childhood, college, kid activities we shared as parental onlookers and cheerleaders, past jobs and past clubs, the women in my life that aren't the ones I was born with are like a second set of sisters and I believe each one was meant to find me and to stay here for a lifetime.
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25. I am grateful for the spam filter on my inbox. I get 1000000000 job leads from AFLAC (my husband works for Liberty Mutual), or worse, from China Steel Corporation (which also requests money laundering). I also get requests to join Black Christian singles (I'm a married, white pagan/Christian/Shinto gal) and lots of chances to win, inherit or help fraudulent entities. Thank goodness my spam box is smarter than their keyword search programs.

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